MDC Alliance vice-chairperson Tendai Biti, who is accused of inciting public violence and border jumping, yesterday successfully applied for relaxation of his bail conditions and placed the State on notice to challenge his continued remand, citing the court’s failure to provide a trial date.
BY DESMOND CHINGARANDE
Biti, who is being represented by Alec Muchadehama, appeared before magistrate Rumbidzai Mugwagwa, who remanded him to October 17 for a possible trial date.
The State, represented by Sebastian Mutizirwa, had asked the court for postponement, saying investigations were not yet finished.
But Muchadehama opposed the postponement, saying there was no justification by the State to continuously remand his client without advising the court on the progress of the matter.
He said he planned to apply for Biti’s removal from remand if the court failed to provide a trial date on October 17.
Magistrate Mugwagwa also removed all Biti’s bail reporting conditions. Initially, the opposition leader was reporting twice every day at the police’s Criminal Investigative Department before magistrate Francis Mapfumo relaxed the conditions to once every Friday.
Biti is on $5 000 bail and surrendered his passport and title deeds to one of his properties, house number 7 Bernard Avenue, Chisipite, valued at $200 000.
The politician was also prohibited from interfering with State witnesses in the matter and not to address any political gathering or Press conference until the matter is finalised.
Biti is also facing charges of contravening Section 66A (1) of the Electoral Amendment Act, Chapter 2:13, which prohibits the unofficial or false declaration of election results.
He is alleged to have unlawfully declared MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa as winner of the presidential election held on July 30.